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EBay madness


Marcyg
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You lot are egging me on without knowing it... There are some great opportunities lying around in the scrap box, despite my having cleared the decks very thoroughly. I may just do it for the fun of it, see who notices ;)

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You lot are egging me on without knowing it... There are some great opportunities lying around in the scrap box, despite my having cleared the decks very thoroughly. I may just do it for the fun of it, see who notices ;)

Wasan't there some sort of ad years ago about 'turning your hobby into income' - now you have your opportunity because one man's scrap box contains another's collectable, especially if it's for sale on Ebay.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I read this article today:

 

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/04/science_explains_why_you_alway.php

 

It's in a similar vein. I know people who swear by Costco; I recently signed up and took my sister and mother along. All the way round they were clucking at the prices going 'that's cheaper in Tesco' or 'That's cheaper in Morrisons'. It was quite funny seeing the look on a few people's faces who overheard - a kind of 'WHAT? Are we being lied to?!' sort of look. Granted, there IS some good stuff there (TVs are a cracking deal), and we found some great stuff. But the basics people were piling their trolleys up with (bog roll, for example) was basically the same price as elsewhere. Because people are told it's cheap, they go and buy it, and probably never bothered to check otherwise.

 

eBay is the same. eBay is where you go to get cheap stuff. Ergo EVERYTHING on eBay is cheaper than elsewhere. Because eBay is all cheap stuff. Only, as we know, that's not the case.

 

I found myself frantically digging around on there for cheap flash memory, only to find it cheaper on 7dayshop later on. I've fallen into the same thing a few times, but usually twigged before hitting 'Buy it now'.

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Another reason could be the demise of model railway shops. 40+ years ago in Watford we had 3 model shops. Sadly we now have none. That was not too much of a problem as we had Puffers in Kenton and the Harrow model shop and of course a trip to London to W&H. Over the past 10 years (or is it longer) these have all gone as well.

 

So to buy bits its mail order or waiting for exhibitions. Mainly Trains offered a great servive in mail order sadly their range has reduced and the last exhibition I went to (Watford Finescale) the trade support was very dissapointing so obtaining models or parts is becoming harder.

 

We now have to work harder to obtain what we require, many small suppliers either do not have websites or do not take debit or credit cards so its back to the post and cheques (whats going to happen in 2018 ?)

 

With these problems to overcome this is where Ebay wins, its changing from a place to get bargins to easy or instant shopping. Its so easy to see the item you want, click on it and pay.

 

It can be addictive or is it compeditave (or both) we see an Item we want and we must beat others to it and have it for ourselves (auction fever). As for collectors well they will pay what it takes to buy what they need to complete the collection. And there is always that one person who chances his arm putting some thing on very expensive and some poor person falls for it

 

Yes there are still bargins but you have to work harder for them and good value items. Last night a Wills 1864 pannier tank did not sell for the starting price of £25, the kit is now £75.50 Romford wheels must be £27 and a motor £10. OK it had the older chassis, it was not described very well and the photo was not too good. At £25 it would have been a good value buy.

 

No doubt today we shall see more models fetch what we see as silly prices.

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I dislike sniping as I think it distorts the market (but then online auctions are a long way from being a pure market) but between 8-9% of auctions are won in the final ten seconds so if you're really determined to get something- a dangerous mind set to enter any auction with- bidding at the last possible moment either manually or automatically may be the only way to do it.

 

I think you might have got the wrong idea about using Snipe programs - it's nothing to do with being 'really determined to get something'. On the contrary you only have one chance to get the item, you set your top bid related to your idea of the item's worth and you're not tempted to get carried away by keep increasing your bid. If you get it great if you don't you haven't gone beyond what you think it's worth / what you can afford.

I use snipe programs exclusively for my ebay bids even if the auction ends while I'm in front of the computer - as I said no temptation to increase my bid. I have bought items from all over the world so these programs are especially useful for, for instance, auctions in the USA which end at silly o'clock in the morning. Just set your limit and forget it! The snipe program will only bid the amount which is necessary to win that item up to your limit.

 

And best of all, I only use the FREE versions of the programs!

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We now have to work harder to obtain what we require, many small suppliers either do not have websites or do not take debit or credit cards so its back to the post and cheques (whats going to happen in 2018 ?)

With these problems to overcome this is where Ebay wins, its changing from a place to get bargins to easy or instant shopping. Its so easy to see the item you want, click on it and pay.

I'm not sure about working harder and in an online age there's always PayPal. Beyond the mass market Hornby etc. stuff that places like HobbyCraft stock I think there's a middle range of supplies that model shops used to be the main source for that are harder to come by and I guess like a lot of people I tend to use exhibitions instead these days. However anything slightly more non-standard has become a lot easier to get with the internet. When I first started modelling non UK prototypes in the 1970s It was Victors (which is still missed) or some fairly complicated mail order. Nowadays there are a good number of specialist suppliers who do use the net, eBay and PayPal effectively and I can order stuff from Europe and America far more easily.

 

I get the impression that eBay is trying to shift itself from being mainly an auction site to a more general online market place for professional traders and far more people are now simply selling products for a fixed price as Buy it Now. That seems to work well for new items but I'm not seeing it happen so much for second hand items.

 

What concerns me a bit though it's been fairly typical of online businesses (Microsoft, Amazon, Google and eBay ) is that the first operator to succesfully reach a critical level of market penetration becomes an effective monopoly and so pretty much gets to set its own terms of trade.

I'm sure Hornby is better for Bachmann's presence and vice versa.

 

 

pardon my ebay ignorance, but what exactly is a snipe program?

 

Since nobody else has answered this, sniping is putting in your bid at the last possible moment in an online auction so that nobody else bidding has time to react with a higher bid. Snipe programs or services automate this process.

There's a good explanation of sniping on

 

http://www.auctionso...FAQ-sniping.asp

 

I dislike sniping as I think it distorts the market (but then online auctions are a long way from being a pure market) but between 8-9% of auctions are won in the final ten seconds so if you're really determined to get something- a dangerous mind set to enter any auction with- bidding at the last possible moment either manually or automatically may be the only way to do it.

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http://cgi.ebay.co.u...T#ht_500wt_1182

 

The phrase hopeless optimist springs to mind.

I don't like "Buy it Now" on Ebay, and I have just as little sympathy for stupid starting prices. If this guy had started at £100, he might have attracted the odd bidder (very odd, I should think), and who knows? - if that lot are really worth £400, that's what they'd fetch.

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I don't like "Buy it Now" on Ebay, and I have just as little sympathy for stupid starting prices. If this guy had started at £100, he might have attracted the odd bidder (very odd, I should think), and who knows? - if that lot are really worth £400, that's what they'd fetch.

I lost count of Dock Authority shunters and Nellies at four apiece. That is just such a lazy listing it makes me irritable.

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I lost count of Dock Authority shunters and Nellies at four apiece. That is just such a lazy listing it makes me irritable.

Presumably this is someone who's just inherited some locos from somewhere (wonder where the other half of the HST is?), and has glanced at a Hornby catalogue before picking a price at random. As you say, it's lazy beyond belief. Most of the potentially interesting locos are completely unidentifiable!

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Presumably this is someone who's just inherited some locos from somewhere (wonder where the other half of the HST is?), and has glanced at a Hornby catalogue before picking a price at random. As you say, it's lazy beyond belief. Most of the potentially interesting locos are completely unidentifiable!

Indeed - but check out the plain green Playcraft NBL fifth from left in the top row! When the lot fails to sell, worth a mail?

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Yes there are still bargins but you have to work harder for them and good value items. Last night a Wills 1864 pannier tank did not sell for the starting price of £25, the kit is now £75.50 Romford wheels must be £27 and a motor £10. OK it had the older chassis, it was not described very well and the photo was not too good. At £25 it would have been a good value buy.

 

The half built loco body went for £36.00 plus postage, the chap still needs a chassis, wheels, gears and motor. For £10 more he could have the updated kit or at £11 less, everything !! I have just brought a working chassis for this kit with a set of Romfords, £21 including postage (as I have the 1864 Saddle tank waiting for one), Ok its not the bargin of the year but its 2/3s of the price of a new set of wheels

 

 

I'm not sure about working harder and in an online age there's always PayPal. Beyond the mass market Hornby etc. stuff that places like HobbyCraft stock I think there's a middle range of supplies that model shops used to be the main source for that are harder to come by and I guess like a lot of people I tend to use exhibitions instead these days. However anything slightly more non-standard has become a lot easier to get with the internet. When I first started modelling non UK prototypes in the 1970s It was Victors (which is still missed) or some fairly complicated mail order. Nowadays there are a good number of specialist suppliers who do use the net, eBay and PayPal effectively and I can order stuff from Europe and America far more easily.

 

 

I think I may have been spoiled as at one time Puffers stocked most things including detail parts, and if they were out or the run of the mill stuff Harrow Model shop was on the way home. I have not realy come to terms with who supplies what on the web.

 

 

I don't like "Buy it Now" on Ebay, and I have just as little sympathy for stupid starting prices. If this guy had started at £100, he might have attracted the odd bidder (very odd, I should think), and who knows? - if that lot are really worth £400, that's what they'd fetch.

 

I do not know why this chap did not sell these in either smaller lots or singly, as its much easier to sell a smaller number or single items. Selling it that volume you will onlt attract the traders who want to buy cheap.

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Indeed - but check out the plain green Playcraft NBL fifth from left in the top row! When the lot fails to sell, worth a mail?

I thought "Playcraft" at first, but the couplers looked wrong. Also, it looks too wide for HO - actually, forget the second point, because the Jouef HO is too wide, of course...

 

The lot has now failed to sell, but I think I'll give it a miss all the same, thanks very much! Something tells me that my valuation and the sender's might be some distance apart.

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I don't like "Buy it Now" on Ebay, and I have just as little sympathy for stupid starting prices. If this guy had started at £100, he might have attracted the odd bidder (very odd, I should think), and who knows? - if that lot are really worth £400, that's what they'd fetch.

Don't like Buy-It-Now? Then this eBay madness is just for you: bid at the £75 starting price that's just the same as the Buy-It-Now, that way you get the chance to end up paying more! Numpties...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wrenn-W2226-City-of-London_W0QQitemZ190386419609QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Trains_Railway_Models?hash=item2c53ea3799#ht_500wt_1182

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And now the former CEO of Ebay wants to become governor of California. Wants to put the whole state for sale to the highest bidder in a retirement community in Arizona or a trailer park in Oklahoma.

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Seems like the cheapest professional service in the country- take a few pounds off for the base wagon, materials and the listing fee and he's earnt £6 for four hours work....

 

On a similar note, how can I become a professional modeller...? By some definitions, it's a tag you can give yourself for producing models only for sale or offering services for financial reward, regardless of the quality. It seems similar to the much maligned "exhibition standard" tag...

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